The LA Times has a follow-up on the organ procurement/transplant case that Ina’s Sporula mentioned a few days back. Some intrepid soul at the paper decided to request the originally referred to report via the Freedom of Information Act, and received a 76-page document from federal investigators that reads like a litany of 101 things to not do when procuring organs for transplant.
As more comes out about this case, it’s likely that the transplant surgeon will be the one made an example of, the over-zealous doctor that pushed too far. It is, after all, a nightmare scenario I hear repeated as the basis for why so many people are not organ donors, even though they would want an organ transplant themselves if it were necessary. But what is so interesting, in a “if you can’t be a good example you’ll be a horrible warning” sort of way, is reading the summary of the full report in the LA Times and realizing how many medical personnel (nurses and doctors) were present in the room, uncomfortable with what was going on, and said nothing until days, days, later. This seems a much more systemic problem than one over-zealous surgeon, to something endemic within the culture of the hospital itself.
Originally published at the American Journal of Bioethics Editors Blog.